Art as Witness
Based on Amnesty International India's 'Art for Activism' project, this book hopes to strengthen global campaigns for a world without fear and torture, a world without death penalty, or disappearances and custodial violence. It hopes to reach out to a wider and more diverse readership/viewership through its parallel narrative of images as visual testimonies, and spillover references to the popular worlds of cinema, music, slogan, and performance.
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Art as Witness is a cluster of barbed writings and biting images from the underbelly of turbulent India and its neighboring countries. Relying on the sustained work of eminent photographers and artists on rights issues in and around South Asia, and on writings by courageous activists, lawyers, journalists, and social scientists, the book focuses on the terror unleashed by armies, states, and courts of law, and tells the stories of brave survivors. Here, text and image are strained to their limits to convey the hopes and anguish of prisoners, death-row victims, murder-victim families, families of missing people, populations living under martial law, and displaced communities, in a world where democratic rights and freedoms are shrinking every day.